Finally a family vacation in a resort with loads of stuff for kids.
Pics include Maxim on his way to France as well as some laid-back time at our chalet. We also took the Prorel cable car next to our house to go to the hut/restaurant. Great place with wide open fields of grass and flowers where the kids can go crazy. Some of the flowers we came accross were l'Aster des Alpes, l'oeuillet a delta and some benoites des alpes (?). There were some pulsatille des alpes as well, their fruits making some fluffy (but toxic) bunch (no pics...). Views are nice with snowy Pelvoux in the background. On the way up the cable car, the PGHM rescue helicopter dropped an injured person on the hospital's roof. I took a couple of pics on the slide from far away which shows the approach. The number of daily rescues is mind-numbing compared to a few years back. Probably more people in the mountains than before as people look for nature and peacefulness instead of getting ripped-off on the French Riviera.
Maxim enjoying the pool with his Grand-Ma with views of the Melezing in the background and the odd Helicopter from the PGHM.
The Parc de la Schappe in the middle of town has set-up a set of very nice climbing parcours in the trees for children and adults alike. Maxim has had a blast there all vacation long. It teaches the kids focus and co-ordination as well as safety. The kids even learn to reverse the gates on their biners when clipping in!
More of the same for Maxim who was completely addicted to climbing.
It is always great to catch-up with childhood friends when going back ome. After catching-up with Yannick & Nathalie the night before we went to see Bruno, Muriel, Baptiste, Alice, Thierry at Bruno's place. They had a pool at their place. Maxim and Baptiste dove in and had loads of fun. Maxim then proceeded to turn baptiste's room into a war zone (sorry!). Thierry's cousin, Freddy, showed-up to entertain us with interesting tales of the current wildlife situation with regards to the impact of wolves. It seems Chamois currently are affected by a strain of kerato-conjonctivite and falling off cliffs... We had a nice dinner with good food, good wine & friends. What else can somebody ask for?
WARNING: Far too many pictures!
I did not put this in the hiking section of the website as we barely walked and just stayed near the cable car. It was family time in a stunning scenery. We took the cable car to the top (Gare des Ruillans at 3200m) soaked in the views of the glacier de la girose and surrounding mountains (we could see all the way to the Mont Blanc as well as the top of L'alpe d'huez with its Lac du Pic Blanc cable car). We also went to the ice cave for Maxim. It was better than what I expected, but if your are claustrophobic or are very sensitive to high levels of CO2, then this is not the place for you. Quite a few people visit the place and there is a lack of ventilation. It reminded me when I dived Chandelier cave in Palau and took our equipment off in an air pocket. Not nearly as bad but not great for people who get easily dizzy. It had snowed from 3000m onwards the night before and there was about 3-5cm of fresh accumulation. The ease of access means that some tourists unfortunately venture onto the glacier un-roped, wearing shorts & sneakers... As if highlighting the risks of mountaineering in a glaciated was necessary, the day we were there 3 italian alpinists died falling off to their death while hiking near the glacier carre: http://japanpeuf.50.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=16 . RIP. This has been a shocker of a year for the Ecrins/Meije massifs...
Last day at home and last evening dinner with Françoise and her friends before heading to Milan to get our plane the next day. Sayonara Briançon. Matta Neh.
It was Maxim's sport day with his Japanese school. It was fun to see him enjoy spending time with his classmates.
Autum colors at the park. Pictures of Jun & Maxim.